In this chapter the author develops concern with media texts and their contexts by thinking about the issue of representation in general and focusing on it in particular through the representations of social groups and individual figures. It explores the origins and function of stereotyping in media forms and some of the complex issues around such depictions: how they tell us about social relations as well as presenting questions about the ‘politics’ of representation. ‘Realist’ actuality media such as documentary forms such as the news and other forms of reportage in audio-visual media such as broadcasting and photography as well as print journalism are understood to tell us about the world directly. For instance, Liz Wells in a popular introductory work on photography defines representation in this fashion as ‘ways in which individuals, groups or ideas are depicted’. Wells’s deployment of the term in this way indicates a consciousness of the lack of ‘innocence’ involved in such depictions.